Opinion: 6 other Celtic players who will follow Rogic and Bitton out of Parkhead
With the Celtic players rounding off the season in style at Parkhead on Saturday, you could be forgiven for forgetting the tough job the board has on its hands this summer.
Not in terms of recruitment, but in terms of shifting the deadwood and the players Ange Postecoglou will want off the club’s wage-bill.
The Greek-Australian has now had a full campaign to take stock of what’s available inside the Parkhead ranks. He’s had a full year to take a look at everyone in training and decide who from the remaining regimes he still wants in place for the next phase of his revolution in Glasgow.
And here, we take a look at the 6 Celtic players Ange will either want out the door or have no chance of stopping.
Firstly, we’ll state the obvious. Vasilis Barkas is now past the second of a 4-year contract that cost the club £4.5m to wrap up in the summer of 2020 [Scottish Sun]. After a dismal debut campaign in which he failed to solidify the number 1 spot, he’s been totally ousted out the team by Ange this season.
Indeed, it’s become extremely clear who Postecoglou sees as his goalkeeping options moving forward. Joe Hart, Scott Bain, and Tobi Oluwayemi have all been involved in either the team, matchday squad, or matchday prep. Barkas has absolutely no future at Celtic Park, and there will be a real focus on getting him a switch this term.
6 Celtic players look set to leave the club this summer
He’ll likely be joined by Albian Ajeti and Ismaila Soro – 2 players who have been totally disregarded for first-team minutes by Ange. Ajeti’s chances here will be next to nothing next season, whilst Celtic tried to get Soro a move back in January [The Scotsman]. Any offers that come in for either will almost certainly be accepted.
The final Neil Lennon signing to make way this summer in our view will be Christopher Jullien. It’s a shame it has to end like this, but the writing has been on the wall for some time. The Frenchman has only been given a 16-minute runout against Raith Rovers since recovering from his 13-month ACL injury back in January.
Jullien has made it clear that he’s been left unsatisfied with his game-time this season [Goal]. Postecoglou, meanwhile, has stated that he’ll chat with Jullien at the end of the campaign and map out a road forward [Celtic TV]. But it’s clear Chris just isn’t fancied, and getting him a new club looks the most realistic prospect given his craving for first-team football.
Next up to leave will be rarely-seen midfielder James McCarthy. Celtic will do well to get a permanent buyer given he’s only finishing the first of a 4-year contract combined with a plummeting stock. However, a loan exit would be best for everyone this summer. Especially considering the options we have in the central area and the fact we’re targeting another midfielder.
McCarthy was given a substitute outing on trophy day. However, he hasn’t started one single match in 2022 and has barely been utilised off the bench. He came to Parkhead to play first-team football and that clearly isn’t what Ange has in mind. He’s too high-profile a figure to be happy sitting on the bench for another 12 months. His natural progression is elsewhere, whether that be on a loan or permanent basis.
And finally, Karamoko Dembele has shown no sign that he’s ready to sign a new contract at Parkhead. It looks as though our worst fears with this one may indeed be realised. If he was going to commit, you have to imagine he would’ve done so by now.
This one would be hugely frustrating given how much he’s been looked after and developed by Celtic over the years. But the lack of intent from Karamoko combined with the lack of opportunities Ange has been giving him – it looks as there’s only one path that’s going to be taken here.
The above 6 look almost certain to depart this summer, and no doubt it’s something Ange will be preparing for. Expect plenty of transfer work from Celtic in the coming weeks in terms of both incomings and outgoings as we watch this space.